tv ABC World News Sunday ABC October 3, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST
ioning services inc. i'm david muir. on "world news" this sunday from london, american travelers and the people who live here, all under heightened alert tonight as the u.s. issues a rare and sweeping terror alert for europe. word that terrorists are ready to strike westerners, first reported by our brian ross, who has the latest again tonight. and, here, we discover the high anxiety among american visitors who still aren't sure what they're supposed to do. also tonight, the pirate attack. an american gunned down by mexican pirates as he jet skis across the border. tonight, the 911 call from his wife. and, rocking the boat. a simple idea. could rock and roll save the world from extremists? the islamic rock star convinced even with all of these threats, the answer is yes.
and good evening from london tonight. and we are here because of that alarming and highly unusual travel alert for americans visiting europe. the alert was issued by the u.s. state department today about the potential for terrorist attacks in europe. the alert says u.s. citizens should take every precaution to be aware of their surroundings and to adopt appropriate safety measures to protect themselves while traveling. as we were covering this today in london, the british government followed suit, with a warning of their own about travel in europe. we do have reaction tonight, but first, the intelligence that triggered all of these alerts and brian ross broke this story on this broadcast last week. he's back with us again tonight. brian? >> reporter: david, what's behind today's alert is a fear that a team of terrorists trained in pakistan is already in europe, on a timetable and close to being operational. meaning, they have a go ahead to attack. authorities say they do not know the specific targets, only that popular tourist locations and
transportation centers in france, britain and germany could be among them. the french have twice closed the eiffel tower for what have been false alarms. but the u.s. alert today matches what the french have been saying publicly for two weeks. "as i speak to you this very moment, there is a specific threat against french interests," a french national police chief said on september 22nd. today, state department alert gave americans very few concrete steps that can be taken. >> use common sense. if they see unattended packages or they hear loud noises, they should quickly move away from them. >> reporter: and in a phone conference with reporters, state department officials took pains not to discourage travel to europe with their alert. >> we are not saying don't visit major tourist attractions or historic sites. >> reporter: yet, u.s. authorities believe the plot is aimed at tourists in europe and may be modeled after the attack on tourist low items in mumbai, indian, two years ago. a commando-style raid, using small arms and explosives to
kidnap and kill western tourists. at the heart of the plot, say u.s. and european authorities, is a contingent of disaffected german citizens who have been at terror training camps in pakistan. one of them was captured over the summer and reportedly has provided key details of the alleged plot involving his fellow jihadists. >> and they are a threat, not only to german, to germany, but also to our allies and especially the u.s. because they are extremely anti-american. >> reporter: adding to the concern, authorities tell abc news the plan has been blessed by osama bin laden. an indication of its potential significance, david. >> brian, as you point out, so much chatter discovered, but now with so much attention being paid to these threats, is there any hope among authorities that they've been able to thwart any of this? >> reporter: they believe based on intelligence reports that this team of terrorists has conducted surveillance, reported back to their bosses in pakistan and have been given the green light to go ahead.
as well, there's a dramatic increase now being seen by u.s. intelligence officials in so-called chatter, terrorists talking among themselves about what might be coming, david. >> perhaps down the road already. brian ross starting us off tonight. as you heard brian report there, authorities in the u.s. and here have been concerned about this intelligence for days now. but today, as that alert spread, so did the confusion. what are americans to do? the travel alert issued by the state department this morning warned of the potential terrorist attacks in europe. but so broad a warning, so many travelers were wondering, what should we do? in chicago, this man was convinced staying home was not the answer. >> it wouldn't stop me from traveling. >> reporter: we flew to london overnight and driving through the city today, all over the radio, the hosts critical of the u.s. alert. >> the u.s. state department is imminently going to put out a warning about travel to europe, the threat of another -- >> they're pathetic, aren't they, those americans? >> reporter: even the former mayor of london saying this.
>> i would say to those american tourists, they're more at risk of being murdered on the streets of america than they are of being blown up anywhere in europe. >> reporter: just hours later, their own leaders here in the uk issued an alert of their own, warning british citizens traveling in germany and france of the possibility of attacks in places frequented by foreign travelers. this couple from britain told us they were confused about what's really going on here. >> this morning i thought it was very vague. as i said to you, is there something going on? obviously not. >> reporter: there were few, if any signs of stepped up security here, as our lama hasan found. >> reporter: david, here at heathrow airport, one of the busiest airports in the world, many passengers are now aware of the u.s. alert, and these new headlines. but while there is more vigilance, there are no visible signs of any increase in security yet. >> reporter: and a similar description from our producer in rome. who noted security, though heavy at the airport, was hardly different than normal. and, the americans we met here
in london told us they were determined to keep going with their vacation. but this woman from salt lake city -- >> if you want to see the world, then, you know, you take a risk. >> reporter: even the l.a. lakers are here this london, ready for their game tomorrow night. and there was this young woman from dallas, texas, who left her parents just a week ago to start grad school here. >> is it for the uk, france, spain, whatever, you know -- >> reporter: your parents back in texas are worried? >> yeah, they are. >> as we left her this afternoon, she was back on the phone with her parents in texas, calming them down. so much uncertainty tonight, so we bring in david kerley at the white house. and first off, david, we heard brian ross report on this intelligence days ago. so, the big question tonight, why the alert now from the administration? >> reporter: you know, i asked the administration that question, they said, it's a fair question. really, the reason is, there is no new threat information that led to the alert. instead, the white house says it's the trend, the amount of intelligence that's been coming in over the past several weeks, david.
>> and david, the wording here, we pointed out how broad it is, a possible attack across europe. did the administration address this? >> reporter: they did. the state department had some very specific suggestions. we'll have that for you in a moment. but first, a little bit more on why now. tonight's travel alert comes after weeks of discussions at the white house and in the intelligence community. while officials say nothing new has come to light in recent days, the alert is prudent, because the europeans have alerted their people and the cumulative effect of the intelligence. experts say in this political climate, in which some are ready to blame the government for any attack, the alert makes sense. >> you're not interfering with their lives. and, in today's political realities in the united states, the executive branch simply doesn't have much choice. >> reporter: this is an alert, not a warning. the highest level of cautioning. >> i'm sure they're not warning us if they don't have any chatter going on. >> reporter: here's the advice from the state department if you
do plan to travel. register with the american embassy. avoid public demonstrations. don't talk about your travel plans if you can be overheard. and stay away from unattended packages. but should you cancel a trip? >> no. because we have no specificity. you can still go, you can be safe. you just have to be smart. >> reporter: now, we heard from the state department today that this is not the only time we've heard an alert like this. it's not unprecedented, but it is, david, a very rare occurrence. >> and alarming indeed. david kerley at the white house, thank you. and we should mention that if you or a loved one, a student, traveling abroad, we put the list of tips on our website, you can find them at abcnews.com. i'll have much more from london later in the broadcast, but there is a lot of other news to get to, and for that, ron claiborne in new york. ron? >> david, thank you. here in new york, developers of that islamic community center and mosque proposed to be built near ground zero released drawings of the project.
4 of 16 floors would be taken up by a fitness center for the public. the prayer space for muslims would be located on two levels, in the basement. and president obama's former chief of staff rahm emanuel made it official today, announcing he is planning to run for mayor of chicago. he's described this position as his dream job, but how easy will it be for him to achieve that dream? abc's chris bury is in chicago tonight. >> i want to thank you for the opportunity to -- >> reporter: only two days after his teary good-bye from the white house, rahm emanuel said hello to chicago. >> in the months ahead, i look forward to earning your support. >> reporter: in the city he hopes to run, rahm is hardly a shoe-in. does his reputation in washington guarantee him victory here? >> no. not at all. he's one of the candidates. >> reporter: emanuel brings big money and famous friends. he can tap into national fund-raising, led by his brother, ari, the hollywood super-agent. and he's got the blessing of chicago's favorite son.
>> i think if obama supports him, then he is a shoe-in. >> reporter: but the backing of outgoing mayor daley is even more important. he's on the sidelines. rahm's brash style, mocked on "saturday night live," may be problematic. >> do i lack even basic social skills? absolutely. >> reporter: and he faces other obstacles. >> the absence of a political base and the absence of accomplishment that connects to ordinary people here. >> reporter: rahm emanuel may have elbowed his way through washington, but chicago's politics are so fiercely tribal, the city was once called beirut on the lake. the last time a mayor daley didn't run things, chicago's ethnic factions erupted into mayhem. >> you little pip squeak. >> chicago's a rough place. and he's proven he can handle a rough environment and some tough players. >> reporter: and he's already facing challenges. the tenant in his house refuses to move out and opponents may contest his legal residency
after his time in washington. chris bury, abc news, chicago. and next, a milestone in washington. the program signed by president bush two years ago to bail out major banks and the economy goes out of business today and it can't be tapped for anymore money. it's known as the troubled asset relief program, or t.a.r.p. whatever the name, the bailout program became politically poisonous. but was it worth it? the price tag, $700 billion stunned the nation. but bank shares turned out to be better than expected investments for the government. automakers that received bailouts are doing better. even insurance giant aig is being sold off at what could end up being a profit. the congressional budget office recently estimated that t.a.r.p. will end up costing taxpayers only $66 billion. the white house says just $50 billion. but some calculate the program could even turn a profit. most economists believe the bailouts prevented a worse recession. maybe even a depression.
but many voters are furious that bank bonuses are flowing again on wall street while main street is still floundering. others see it as a symptom of big government run amuck. that anger is helping to stoke the tea party movement, and even toppled some republican incumbents who voted for bailouts two years ago. and now it's become an issue in the midterm election. we want to bring in rick klein for his weekly political insights. rick, t.a.r.p. and bailout have become dirty words lately. how is this likely to factor in the midterm elections, or, at least, the perception of it? >> there will be no t.a.r.p. bounce, regardless of information that comes out about this. voters have largely renders judgment on t.a.r.p. they associate it with stimulus, bailouts. a lot of other dirty words in politics right now. so, democrats and republicans, anyone that voted for this, is seeing the con consequences if their elections. and beyond that, people overwhelmingly think this was president obama's policy. it was actually president bush's. bru, current democrats, the current crop of democrats in control of congress are
suffering a lot of the consequences. >> and rick, turning to the race for governor out of california. jerry brown and meg whitman faced off in a debate this weekend, and as ocean%ed, the issue of meg whitman's hiring and firing of her housekeeper who was here illegally came up. listen to this from jerry brown. >> don't run for governor if you can't stand up on our own two feet and say, hey, i made a mistake, i'm sorry. let's go on from here. >> and rick, how is this playing in this very tight contest in california? >> that's jerry brown laying into whitman's ration ale of running, a former ceo running for ceo of california. she herself said she cannot win without the latino vote. now, you have this issue of immigration, playing out on the statewide and national stage in the closing weeks. it's going to be a challenge for whitman to explain her actions. without potentially alienating a chunk of voters. >> all right, rick klein, thank you. >> thank, ron. and still ahead on "world news" this sunday, an american man apparently killed by mexican pirates while jet skiing along the u.s./mexico border in texas. the 911 call from his wife and her desperate struggle to save him.
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wednesday, the court takes up those provocative anti-gay protests at military funerals. and police in texas have released tapes of a 911 call made by an american woman in the terrifying moments after her husband was shot and killed while sightseeing on a lake that straddles the border with mexico. the attack is renewing calls for more security along that dangerous border. and jeremy hubbard has the story. >> reporter: this tranquil lake has become an unlikely haven for pirates who have now apparently claimed a life. >> hello? >> ma'am? >> yes. >> okay. are you sure that your husband got shot? >> yes. in his head. >> reporter: 911 calls released this weekend reveal tiffany hartley's terror. she was sightseeing last thursday with her husband david on falcon lake, a 60-mile long reservoir on the rio grande, shared by the u.s. and mexico, home to some of the country's biggest bass fishing tournaments. the hartleys were jet skiing on the mexican side when bullets started flying. david was shot in the head. >> he was thrown off the jet ski
and i couldn't pick him up to get him on mine. >> she went in the water trying to load up her husband, trying to get his body to bring him back to the u.s. side, but you know, she was being shot at. so, she finally had to let go of the body, climb back in the jet ski and head back to the united states. >> reporter: it isn't the first violent incident on the water. texas authorities issued a warning in may urging caution on falcon lake after boaters were approached and robbed. texas governor calls this spillover violence from mexico drug and human traffickers. now, he wants washington to send backup. governor rick perry is asking for 1,000 national guardsmen and predator drones to watch the border. tiffany and david hartley had grown tired of border violence, too. they were about to move, out of state. they just wanted one more day on the lake before leaving. a regrettable choice, as investigators continue to search the water for david's body. jeremy hubbard, abc news, new york. when we come back, cathy's
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toys being given away with kids meals unless they contain healthier foods. mcdonald's is a particular target of the proposed so-called happy meal ordinance. but all restaurants would have to include more fruits and vegetables and fewer calories in kids meals. the mayor has threatened to veto it. and today, the comic trip "cathy" ends its 34-year run. the comic debuted along with the women's movement, but cathy worried mostly about guys, grooming and guilt. she did marry, and in today's final frame, cathy announces that she is expecting -- a little girl. when we return, we go back to david muir with the latest in london, and an extraordinary rock star using music to stand up to violent islamic terrorists. desperate for nighttime heartburn relief? for many, nexium helps relieve heartburn symptoms caused by acid reflux disease. and for the majority of patients with prescription coverage for nexium, it can cost $30 or less per month. headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are possible side effects of nexium. other serious stomach conditions may still exist.
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are reporting on that alert today from the u.s. state department. at rare travel alert advising americans to be aware of potential terrorist threats in europe. it comes amid concerns that terrorist teams have selected targets and are now ready to strike at airports and tourist attractions and of course we'll continue to follow it here. but before we leave you tonight, we took note that many of you wrote in after diane sawyer's hour on islam on friday. so many of you had been asking, why aren't there more moderate voices within islam opposing the extremists? well, tonight, one of those voices, right here in london. not only using his voice, but his guitar, too. here's jim sciutto. >> reporter: he looks like a rock star, plays like one and has the record sales, 30 million worldwide, to prove it. but salman ahmed, arguably the biggest rock star in the muslim world, now has a much bigger mission. what he calls rock and roll jihad. using music to stand up to the violent rhetoric of islamic terrorists. in the simplest terms,
can rock and roll save the world? >> when i was 18, 19 years old, what i couldn't make sense of the world, it was movies, music and story telling, which gave me answers. so, that's what i'm going to do on my own. >> reporter: his songs give an alternative outlet to young muslims who rail against perceived injustices in places such as iraq, afghanistan and palestine. how do you help give a voice to that anger that doesn't lead people to violence? >> how do you deal with it? not by blowing yourself up. it's much harder, actually, to build something from the bottom up and help society. it's much easier to go blow yourself up. >> reporter: alarmed at the success extremist clerics have had in recruiting western muslims to violence from times square to ft. hood, both the british and u.s. governments have enlisted his help to speak and perform on college campuses. the terrorists have responded with death threats against salman and his fans.
but at concerts such as this one in pakistan, young people still show up by the tens of thousands. >> what were they saying? they were saying, we're sick of the politics of violence. we want engagement. simply by staying silent, you're good as dead. >> reporter: in the fight against extremism, the guitar, he says, is mightier than the sword. jim sciutto, abc news, london. >> one voice, one step at a time. that is our broadcast tonight. the latest tomorrow morning, right here on "good morning america." and diane sawyer is back tomorrow night. i'm david muir. from all of us here at abc news, good night from london.
>> alan: the giants showered with sham pain after winning their first division championship in seven years. they waited until the final game of the regular season today. larry beil here to talk more about the victory, and a huge morale boost for a city who hasn't had a playoff berth in quite a while. >> larry: these are the leak times in the bay area. the sharks are pretty good. but they missed a chance yesterday. would doubts and tension rising, the giants did it today. the final day of the regular season, clinch the national league west. the sellout crowd. bottom three, scoreless until sanchez